Holidays to Montego Bay are a perfect introduction to Jamaica. Tropical white sands, pristine coral reefs, and vibrant Caribbean culture – you’d expect nothing less from Jamaica’s second city.
Jamaica’s distinct and unique culture – defined by its music, people and landscape – make it an appealing Cruise & Stay holiday choice that’s worthy of further investigation, before or after a Caribbean Sea voyage.
The island's second city
Montego Bay is Jamaica’s second largest city after Kingston, but it’s much more of a draw to holidaymakers than the capital. Located on the northeast of the island, this cruise destination has a heady and raw heart surrounded by idyllic Caribbean beaches and hotels. Gloucester Avenue, known as the Hip Strip, is the place to find local jerk shacks, dance the night away or pick up some souvenirs proudly emblazoned with the Jamaican flag.
Blue and white beach paradise
One of Montego Bay’s best and most famous beaches is Doctor’s Cave Beach – named after an English osteopath who declared the local waters had healing properties. It’s a ribbon of bright white sand that sharply contrasts the bright blue sea, with floating dive platforms and places to hire snorkelling gear to spot colourful tropical fish. And thanks to the beach bar and restaurants, a day can also be spent here without having to step foot off the sand.
Ask any Jamaican what you can’t leave the island without seeing, and many will say Dunn’s River Falls. The beautiful cascading water really is quite a spectacle, and the highlight is that you can climb directly over the limestone rocks through the cool waterfalls to the top, 180 metres up. The 90-minute journey along the north coast of the island from Montego Bay to the waterfall is worth it if you can bear to part with the beach.
Much of what Jamaica has to offer is beneath the dazzling aquamarine waves. Home to a rich assortment of exotic sea life, the bay simply begs you to don a snorkel and get exploring the shallow waters. Just off the coast is a nine-square-mile marine park packed with coral reefs and mangroves that are a scuba diver's heaven. But those wanting to stay dry can get in on the aquatic action, too, by hopping on a catamaran cruise to spot shoals of grouper fish and barracudas.